Too much of London’s likely housing land is used up to develop homes out of reach to ‘affordable’ incomes in the capital.
The London Tenants Federation (LTF) has produced league tables showing the best and worst boroughs for delivery of social-rented homes – for which there is greatest need –as a percentage of total homes delivered for years 2014-17.
Data is derived from the London Plan Annual Monitoring Reports, the most recent being published by the Mayor’s Office last month.
LTF says far too much available land for housing in London is consistently being used to develop homes that are just not affordable to London households.
That’s those with below median income levels and who are suffering in overcrowded or unfit homes or are being forced out of the capital to meet their housing needs.
The London-wide organisation has also produced league tables for delivery of social and ‘affordable rent’ homes combined, and ‘affordable’ homes – including intermediate housing – on the same basis, as the London Mayor sets targets for these.
Top of the social league table was Greenwich, where 15% of the homes delivered were social-rented, followed by Havering and Tower Hamlets with 14%.
Bexley, Bromley, Hackney, Harrow and Lambeth were among the worst. Together, the five boroughs oversaw a net loss of 637 social-rented homes.
The social-rented and ‘affordable’ rent homes – including unaffordable homes up to 80% market rents – combined table had Havering and Waltham Forest on top with 32% and 31% respectively.
Bexley, Bromley, Harrow and the City of London were the worst, together seeing a 160-net loss of social and affordable rent homes.
For social, affordable rent and intermediate combined, Waltham Forest came top, with 49% of all homes delivered deemed ‘affordable’.
However, LTF notes that this borough falls rapidly to ninth place from the bottom when it comes to the percentage delivery of just social-rented homes.
Bromley, Harrow and City of London were worst in respect of overall ‘affordable’ housing delivery with a combined none.
Of the 116,986 new homes delivered across London in 2014-2017, only 6,713 (5.6%) were social-rented, while a massive 94,553 (81%) were market homes for sale and rent.
“It would require the 1,204 social-rented homes delivered over three years in Tower Hamlets to be replicated in each borough, every year, to get to anywhere near to meeting London’s social-rented housing need over the next 10-years,” said Mark Taylor, LTF representative from Tower Hamlets.
“Our fears are that what we might get, with any clamour for the trophy of meeting the London Mayor’s 50% ‘affordable’ housing target, is the Waltham Forest effect: more unaffordable ‘affordable’ homes at the expense of those who genuinely need social-rented homes,” he said.
Earlier this week, 24housing reported Sadiq Khan’s warning to the government that it needs to do far more to fix the housing crisis across the UK.
Khan was announcing plans worth more than £1bn, with 26 London boroughs to build 11,000 new council homes at social rent levels over the next four years.